I usually loved this sort of weather; but after weeks of it, even I was longing for an end.
You could have too much of a good thing. That wasn’t a belief I would usually have subscribed to, but everybody has their limits. Outside it was dark and you could just about make out the moon behind a bank of thick clouds, and a sensuous breath of air was snaking all over my body.
I was sitting on my balcony along with a half-empty bottle of rosé, a full glass, and, engaging in my new habit, an ashtray and a roll-up. My lover, K, I say lover but he was actually a lot more than that, hated smoking, the act of it, the sound of it, the desperate inhaling and exhaling, and, most of all, as he put it, ‘The lingering, invasive stench of it.’’ He had a point. But I really appreciated a smoke especially post coitus. I preferred to wait till my partner, whoever it was, was asleep. Most men in my experience dozed off for a while after sex, especially as they got older. K wasn’t like that. He’d just lie there gazing at the ceiling and humming. I didn’t smoke while he was here but I had a longing for it. But a touch of self-discipline can go a long way, at least for a short while.
Anyway, smoke didn’t linger on me. I sniffed my clothes sometimes and there was never a trace of smoke on them. I once cut off a lock of hair and held it to my nose, there wasn’t even a hint of the dreaded weed, and my senses were very sharp. Nonetheless, I liked to take a long pull and think about the sex I’d just had, that was important, if I’d enjoyed it. It was like a fine meal or an expensive champagne, you didn’t just chew and swallow, you savored. That required a bit of time. It was all about satisfaction and then reliving the act. By the way, the double entendre was not intentional. With some men, actually too many, it sometimes seemed they couldn’t cram the food into their mouths quick enough, like they were stoking their engines for the primal release of a quick bout of copulation. It was that mechanical or primitive, no interest in relishing the experience, all they wanted was the release of pent-up lust.
Thankfully K had never been like that. I looked over at him.
He was lying on the bed asleep. He was on his back naked, his far leg was cocked at the knee, his arms were by his sides and his head was facing in my direction. He never snored. I liked to watch the rise and fall of his stomach. I felt secure when he was here and when I thought about him being here.
His skin was very smooth. He didn’t bother with aftershave or any other cosmetics except for deodorant. But he had an aroma, a unique aroma. Maybe he only produced it when he was with me. It was that distinctive. It was a bit like the smell of a dying bonfire mixed with freshly cut grass and the experiences of life.
There were times when we were lying in bed and I awoke and I wanted to touch him, to stroke him but I didn’t want to wake him. To be honest I sometimes wanted to be sure that he was still alive. He’d be lying there unmoving like a log. I just had this horrible feeling sometimes.
One time I woke up in the night and feeling wide awake decided to sit on the balcony and read a racy biography of a well-known French woman about town. As soon as I left the bed I could feel his eyes on me; it felt so good. I heard him emit a deep, soulful sigh. He still found me attractive after all these years, but it was more than attraction. Was I surprised? No. I felt warm and needed. When he watched me it was different to other men, it wasn’t just about lust. There was a lot more.
Unsurprisingly, I couldn’t concentrate on the book despite a glass of wine, and I went back to him, being careful to leave my roll-up in the ashtray on the balcony; I bet he could even smell cigarette smoke in his sleep. He was asleep again. I knelt down and looked at his face, it was very lined and gaunt. His hair didn’t help. It was grey, thick and shaggy and in need of a good cut.
His stomach looked as though he was holding it in. He wasn’t of course. He had a good body for his age. I was sure he had the same size waist as when I first met him, all those years ago. Or as near to it ‘As damn it is to swearing’. His arms and legs were hairy but unremarkable; he wasn’t worked out muscular but he was toned.
I was better in bed than him. I mean from the point of view that I was very attentive during foreplay and liked to extend it until he was begging for it. He used to have more patience during sex. I wouldn’t say he’d turned into a ‘Wam, bam thank you ma’am type’, maybe it was a stamina thing. I should ask him really. With the passing of lovers, I’d come to believe that technique was not as important as presence.
There was no doubt he was fit but I noticed the grimaces and sighs when he got out of bed or bent over; he had back trouble. I massaged him sometimes. He loved that, ‘‘The perfect foreplay’’. He always said.
That, and an article I read recently, got me thinking; I’d like to have a crack at working in one of those massage parlors. I just knew I’d be so good at it; I knew more about men’s bodies than most men and certainly most women, that also goes for women’s bodies.
I could imagine K would go to a place like that. Not that he needed to, but I thought he’d welcome the anonymity. Maybe I should suggest it. Then he could give me a first-hand report. Or we could even go together with me as an observer.
Of course, I could go to a male masseur, but the poor guy would probably be so intimidated by me that I’d probably end up giving him a good servicing!
I believed K envied me because I was so supple like a woman half my age or younger.
I'm British and have been living with my German born wife in s.w. Germany for 30 years. I've been writing short stories for many years and they have appeared on Fictionontheweb, Short FictionBreak, Literally Stories, Spillwords and other sites. I also have a story in the book The Best of Fiction On the Web.